I went up to Alaska to see the boyfriend for Christmas and the adventure started pretty much from the moment I got there. After staying in Ketchikan for one night, I arrived bright and early (7am) at Pacific Air for my float plane experience...it was pounding rain and windy. But the nice fellows at the terminal weighed me, weighed my luggage, and said we were going.

So, I got into the plane along with a whole back seat of mail and took off into the wind. Now, I've been in these planes before and I pretty much know how they sound and this one did NOT sound right. Maybe it was the prop cutting out that gave me my first clue. Before I knew it, the pilot said in his best Chuck Yeager voice, "Sorry. We're going back." No kidding, I thought, just glad this hadn't happened when we were out over the middle of nowhere.

I thought that was it for the day, but nope. About an hour later, the luggage and backseat of mail were transferred to a new plane and a new pilot. He was very cute and, if he was 25, I'd be surprised (apologies if I am wrong!). We bobbled our way out into the water and went...nowhere. This time, I was told, "Life is just too short. It's not worth it." And back to the dock we went.

There was no way I was going to be upset at safety, but, at that point, I'd pretty much reconciled myself to spending Christmas in the Best Western. It sure seemed that way...but the luggage was still out on the plane, so I got some more coffee and waited. And waited. And waited. Suddenly, out comes the pilot, who announces, "We're going!"

Against every better instinct I've had in my entire life, I got on for ride #3, and was shocked that we actually took off for a 20 minute flight that was surprisingly calm, until I was told "It's gonna get a little bumpy here." Remember: these are PILOTS. "A little bumpy" means you are going to be on a ride scarier than anything Great Adventure can cook up.

We made a turn that made my stomach lurch (yes, I had a barf bag) and I can't even describe how badly I was shaken around in that plane. I was determined not to be the wimp from New York, until one big lurch made me yelp. That was when the pilot said, "Don't panic till I panic." For some reason this really did make me feel better.

So, I grabbed the barf bag for dear life and we headed into dock. I figured, if he wasn't panicked, I was going to just buck up. Here's a picture of me and a whole lot of Christmas gifts "deplaning."

I thought about taking the barf bag as a souvenir but figured I'd leave it for the trip back. He said I did just fine, and I take heart that some city guy flying in for fishing might have been more scared than I.

Later, I took a walk out to the totem park and thanked the bear for my safe arrival.


I also thank the really nice and professional guys at Pacific Air for getting me to Christmas in one piece--and also for the strong coffee!

5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I am very impressed by your intrepidness! And I think you should take one of the bush pilots back to NYC for the Avonites here to coo over...
xo pr-gal!

5:00 PM  

Anonymous carrie feron said:

Oh my goodness Lucia. I am very impressed. Merry Christmas.

5:10 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Lucia, I am so glad that you made it safely and I am impressed with how brave you are! Hope you two had a great Christmas. Lots of love, Jen

11:33 PM  

Blogger ESI said:

Oh my God. Holy cow. You are a brave, brave woman. And that pilot sounds awesome

8:16 AM  

Anonymous Grace said:

Wow that is so brave of you! Nice

2:35 AM  

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